The world’s political landscape is inundated with the Trump’s tsunami and his controversial remarks on virtually every topical national issue from immigration, gun control, America-China relations and many more. The Trump’s effect is so contagious that people lost sight of his arch-rival and nemesis, Ted Cruz
Little have been known of Ted Cruz and his personae that he projects to the world. Borne out of necessity and his recent victory in Republican primary nomination in Wisconsin, these are the untold stories of Ted Cruz.
The Canadian origin: Rafael Edward Cruz was born in 1970 in Calgary, Canada. At the time of his birth, Cruz’s parents had lived in Calgary for three years and were working in the oil business as owners of a seismic-data processing firm for oil drilling While his mother is an American citizen, his father was a Cuban immigrant. His place of birth has earned him the ineligibility not to seek political offices on the US soil. One of such campaign was led Donald Trump to suggest he was ineligible to run for president. The argument in his defense is that he was born, an American via his mother.
The family moved to Texas and he did his high school there. Ted, as he liked to be known, became interested in public speaking. It was a talent he took to the elite Princeton University, where he won the US national speaker of the year award in 1992.
From Princeton to Harvard: Cruz attended two private high schools: Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas and Second Baptist High School in Houston, from which he graduated as valedictorian in 1988. Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship.
After graduating with a degree in public policy, Cruz went on to Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris doctor degree. At Harvard Law School, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics. He became editor of the university’s prestigious Law Review, executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.”
Life after Harvard: After Harvard, he worked as a clerk for William Rehnquist, former chief justice of the United States’ Supreme Court before moving on to a Washington law firm, where he represented the National Rifle Association and other prominent Republican clients.
He was appointed to the US Justice Department before being made solicitor general of Texas. He argued before the Supreme Court nine times. He believed that there are concerted efforts to seek out and lead conservative fights which prejudiced him in cases he take. Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.
Cruz worked on the 2000 presidential campaign of George Bush as a policy advocate and was heavily involved in the drafting of the legal arguments that followed that controversial election.
First time senator: On January 19, 2011, after United States senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek re-election, Cruz announced his candidacy via a blogger conference call. In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against a better known and funded sitting Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
He clinched the Republican Party nomination by 14 points. In the election against the Democratic contender, he won with more than a million votes to spare. The Washington Post described his win to the senate, “the biggest upset of 2012… a true grassroots victory against very long odds”.
The most disliked person in Washington: Do you know that Ted Cruz is one of the most disliked men in Washington. In his time in Washington, he was known as a hard-charging and hard-headed conservative. He once delivered a 21-hour speech on the floor of Senate trying to strip funding from the health programme that was known as “Obamacare”.
He was described by a Speaker of the House of Representatives – a member of his own party, as “a Jackass” and former presidential candidate John McCain, senator of Arizona, called him “wacko”. There is an old joke in Washington that is regularly resurrected about Cruz, “Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It saves time.”
Yet Texas Senator Ted Cruz has taken those insults and worn them as a badge of honour. He believes this shows that he is not part of the Washington elite. He describes himself as an insurgent, fighting the conservative battle.
With a little over three years in the Senate, he decided to run for president. Many outside the United States don’t really know who he is and many inside will know the name but with limited memory of what he stands for. Though, he may be disliked by the Washington elite, underestimating him is at their own peril.
Written by: Dosunmu Moshood
twitter handle @msdoes